A pioneering new Green Travel District (GTD) for Sutton Walmley & Minworth, Reddicap and environs has been launched to help improve sustainable and active travel for residents, workers and visitors.
The initiative will help put people before cars ensuring that residents, workers and visitors have more opportunities to walk, wheel, cycle and take public transport.
Developed alongside the creation of the Peddimore employment park and the Langley Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE) which will bring thousands of new jobs and homes to the area, the district has been specially designed to ensure that both exemplar developments are well connected and sustainable.
Councillor Liz Clements, Cabinet Member for Transport at Birmingham City Council said: “I am so pleased we have worked closely with partners to set up a Green Travel District for this part of Sutton Coldfield, bringing everyone together to discuss transport issues and collaborate on opportunities to enhance sustainable travel across the area. This is exciting news for the entire region and will see investment in schemes and initiatives that benefit all those living, working and travelling locally.”
The vision of the GTD is for less congestion, less pollution, fewer accidents, and healthier, safer, more productive communities.
The formation of a GTD will bring together key organisations, including Birmingham City Council, Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council, Warwickshire County Council, IM Properties, the Langley Consortium and Transport for West Midlands to coordinate activity across the area and ensure the necessary infrastructure, policies and supporting initiatives are in place.
Councillor Ken Wood, Ward Councillor for Sutton Walmley and Minworth, said “Whilst appreciating that, for many, there will always be a need to accommodate private vehicle use, this initiative will ensure residents, workers and visitors have viable alternatives and more opportunities to walk, wheel, cycle and take public transport.”
A huge amount of work has already been undertaken by IM Properties, the developer of Peddimore in and around the site to enable people to walk, wheel or cycle for local journeys. This includes a new footbridge over the A38 and plans to improve connections to local rail stations and the canal towpath, including better signage.
To enable people to travel by public transport two new bus services have been launched to serve the Peddimore site. The 67A service between Birmingham city centre and Peddimore provides a link from Erdington and Castle Vale and the 71A service between Royal Sutton Coldfield and Chelmsley Wood links with Kingshurst and Castle Bromwich.
The first occupants of the Peddimore site, Amazon, have already created a travel plan detailing actions to promote sustainable travel to their staff and achieve the first level of accreditation with the national Modeshift STARS accreditation scheme.
David Smith, Director, Planning & Communities, IM Properties, development partner for Peddimore site, said: “Sustainable travel that prioritises walking, cycling and public transport is central to the Peddimore vision, connecting local people in Birmingham, Royal Sutton Coldfield and neighbouring North Warwickshire with new employment opportunities. We‘ve created a striking landscape setting that sensitively links with the surrounding area and provides attractive, safe, and accessible active travel routes. This contributes to an engaging and welcoming workplace, supporting the wellbeing of employees and visitors, while minimising impact on the environment.”
Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council is also backing the Green Travel District approach, seeing the benefits it will bring to the Royal Town. Councillor Simon Ward, Leader of Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council, said: “The Green Travel District clearly supports our active travel vision across the town where residents and visitors can leave the car at home if they wish and move safely and efficiently through our streets and spaces. Providing real green transport choices supports better health, economic and environmental outcomes and will ensure future generations can continue to enjoy the rich heritage, biodiversity and natural beauty of our town.”